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CHARLIE KIRK: To Secure The White House In 2024, We Must Win Low-Propensity Voters

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As the media world and D.C. insiders become increasingly transfixed by the fallout from President Joe Biden’s disastrous debate performance, it becomes more important than ever that the conservative movement remains steadfastly focused on the most important things — namely, registering voters and chasing their ballots.

This is the hard work that wins elections in our modern era and that has quite literally flipped conventional election logic on its head. (RELATED: MORGAN MURPHY: Biden May Help Create A Generation Of New Republicans)

To that end, there is a term you are going to hear more and more this summer and fall as the key factor in former President Donald Trump’s hopes of retaking the White House: “Low-propensity voter.”

Thanks to lockdowns, mass mail-in ballots and the sheer intensity of the Summer of George Floyd, 2020 was the highest-turnout election of this century. While early voting and mail-in votes will be widespread this year, it is almost certain that turnout will fall — and the key question is: Who will it fall for more?

It used to be taken as a given that Democrats were the party of low-turnout voters: Immigrant communities, the young, the poor and so on. Republicans, meanwhile, had a base that was more electorally reliable: Older voters, the upper-middle class and the like.

As a result, Republicans fared better during midterms and other lower-turnout races, while Democrats did better the higher the turnout was.

But 2024 and Donald Trump’s populist political realignment have changed everything. Poll after poll shows a trend that was previously hard to imagine: Trump does worst with the people who make a point of voting in every election, while he polls best among those who vote sparingly — or even not at all.

If you look at people who voted in the 2022 primary elections (representing the most committed, high-turnout voters), things seem sunny for President Biden: He leads in this group by about five points, according to recent New York Times polling. Among those who skipped the primaries but voted in the midterm general election, Biden is up by one point. But among voters whose last ballot was in 2020, Donald Trump leads by two points.

And here is the unbelievable kicker: Among those who voted in none of those elections, Trump is leading by fourteen points.

This is hard to believe, and it only gets more so when you look at the political shifts that are making it happen. A May Quinnipiac poll shows Trump leading Biden by one point among those aged 18-34, when no Republican has won young voters since 1988. The same poll shows Trump getting 47% of Hispanics and 18% of blacks. For comparison, Mitt Romney in 2012 managed 27% and 6% with those groups.

This is the most profound political swerve of our lifetimes. It is a huge opportunity, but it is one we have to work to seize.

The American electorate now leans to the right — but they are also discouraged, disengaged and a little bit lazy. For decades, it was Democrats who built aggressive get-out-the-vote operations, because they rightly believed they benefited if turnout was generally higher.

Republicans, meanwhile, worried most about maximizing the turnout of our core base. They neglected building the institutions and know-how that would fuel mass voter registration. Republican turnout would take care of itself, the thinking went.

But now, America is filled with millions of people who dislike Biden and like Trump, but who are otherwise disengaged. They rarely or never vote and may not even be registered.

Shockingly, there are also millions more people who actually follow politics, listen to shows like mine and care about the country, yet they still do not vote! I’ve seen this myself countless times. By now, I have heard all the excuses:

“They’re just going to rig it anyway.”

“I moved and didn’t update my registration.”

And the most honest and infuriating of all: “I just never have gotten around to it.”

The time to fix this is not October. It is now.

If Republicans do not learn rapidly how to mobilize these people and get them to cast ballots, then a hundred polls showing Biden down will not matter one bit in November: Trump’s lead will vanish into thin air, as his base simply fails to do the work of turning out.

My challenge to Republicans is to make this summer a “Low-Propensity Summer.” Don’t waste the summer away just watching rallies, monitoring polls or wondering if Biden will remain the Democrat nominee. (RELATED: BRYAN LEIB: Trump’s Decisive Debate Victory Makes One Thing Crystal Clear)

Ultimately, we are not running against Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris but the entirety of the Democrat Get-Out-The-Vote machine.

Instead, do the work: Whenever you have reason to think you are with a fellow conservative or just somebody who hates Biden, take the leap and ask: “Are you registered?” If they are not, help them get registered.

You would be amazed: Far more people than you would expect are not registered but will respond to a direct nudge.

Get them registered this summer and keep track of those you do. Because, trust me, a lot of these people will need another nudge down the road.

When polls are open this October, circle back and get these people to vote. Do not get a promise. Get them to fill out a mail ballot or offer to drive them to a polling place yourself.

The population is with us. But they will not win us this election unless we do the work.

Charlie Kirk is the founder and president of Turning Point USA and host of the top-rated podcast and nationally syndicated radio program, “The Charlie Kirk Show.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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